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March 5, 2008

Pollution Prevention

Green Chemistry R&D Bill Introduced

Senate measure aims to prevent pollution by encouraging cleaner and safer chemicals

Glenn Hess

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would strengthen federal efforts to find safer, more sustainable technological alternatives to existing chemical products. The House passed a similar measure (H.R. 2850) last year (C&EN, Sept. 10, 2007, page 9).

The Green Chemistry Research & Development Act of 2008 (S. 2669) would create an interagency working group to advance research into environmentally friendly chemicals. The group will be led by NSF and EPA in coordination with the Department of Energy and NIST.

"Green chemistry provides an additional tool to confront the environmental, energy, and technology challenges of the 21st century," says Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), chief Senate sponsor of the legislation. "The American people understand the consequences of an energy and environmental policy that relies on the old technology and processes that do not reward efficiency."

The bill would provide $165 million over the next three fiscal years in grant funding for private sector and academic R&D projects. It would also expand education and training for chemists and chemical engineers in green chemistry science and engineering.

"This legislation will help motivate new investment in green chemistry, allowing scientists and engineers to advance a cleaner, safer generation of chemicals and materials for our marketplace," says Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a cosponsor.

The initiative has been endorsed by the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries, as well as the American Chemical Society.

The field of green chemistry has been in development since passage of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, but it has received little government support.

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

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